Vol. 17 Issue 1
My gift to the … KING OF KINGS
When pondering the question “what can I bring and offer as a gift before the King?” I am reminded of a poem children often recited in church during my youth at this gift-giving time of the year. Children, as prompted by proud parents who’d rehearsed with them selected words of Christina Rossetti’s poem later set to music (1830-1894), stood despite their reluctance and stumbled over these powerful words:
What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part; Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
Having lived a good full life, I now reflect upon the value of gifts both given and received. I think about the joys of gifts that filled the heart’s desire contrasted to meaningless last minute gifts given out of some shameful sense of obligation. As I soul-search, I ponder — what can I give Him, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Surely not empty worship or meaningless praise. The grandeur of His majesty and His exclusive position of power must be considered. I cannot bring what is an insult or offensively fouled by sin. Surely not to this King who is full of love, mercy and compassion; who reigns with majesty, judgment and righteousness. I must bring an offering as pure as the gift He gave with His sacrificial death for my pardon. I must bring before His presence my gift chosen purely out of love, adorned with righteous fruit, and graciously wrapped with clean unblemished hands. I can give Him what He wants — the Will of His Father executed in my life. I can give Him a sanctified life full of love as I seek to possess all the qualities and character He is endowed with. I can give Him my time as I remain in a constant state of preparedness awaiting His appointed rapture and reign. I can use my resources wisely as I faithfully help build the kingdom of God. I can work faithfully and with all diligence fulfilling His Great Commission as I compel all to come to the Father.
Celebrating … New Beginning
As we near the end of 2018 and anticipate the onset of the new year, I am reminded of the joys we often experience in life that cause us to celebrate “new” beginnings. While life affords us many new experiences, some come to us in the form of opportunities, promotions, challenges, acquisitions, increased wealth, births and relationships, to name a few, that are welcomed and give us cause to celebrate. I am foremost reminded of the “new beginning” ushered in with the birth of Christ. Malachi documents the end of an era in which God’s Old Testament dealings with His creation that existed exclusively through prophets, judges, and priests who were chosen to conveyed His Will to His chosen people. Despite man’s inability to consistently obey God’s law and a four hundred (400) year period that followed the close of this era, the New Testament heralds in the good news of the birth of God’s only begotten, incarnate, and beloved Son. What a message of joy to the world! Now, through the birth of one man access to God and knowledge of His Will can be both known and obeyed by ALL who believe and receive the precious gift of salvation Christ alone brings. No wonder this season of celebration is welcomed with excitement and good will. For the believer, it recalls a “new beginning” unparalleled in history. It marks the new birth, transformation, adoption, restoration, and an eternal hope in glory that is his/her gift of God that although unmerited has been given without partiality. As we celebrate the holidays and the onset of a new year, may we ever call to memory and rekindle with excitement our new relationship (as the sons and daughters of God) that our elder brother Jesus Christ made possible and rejoice evermore!
Iris Ivana Grant, Member: New Beginning, Jacksonville, FL
To gain a better understanding of what philanthropy is and just who philanthropist are, check out this YouTube video recently launched by TEDx Jacksonville (http://bit.ly/TEDxIrisIvanaGrant) and be sure to give it a thumbs up. Iris, President and CEO of The Genési Group, with over 14 years of experience in philanthropy, fundraising and experiential marketing, helps individuals, companies and nonprofits change lives every day through training in sustainable giving (www.thegenesi.com). Selected from thousands of new and upcoming persons to “keep an eye on” who have “ideas worth spreading” recently screened by the global firm TED Talks, her firm’s mission and expertise landed her this coveted and most prestigious recognition as one of their keynote speakers. Each year, the world’s top thinkers, leaders, innovators and instigators gather for a multi-day journey into the future, filled with the keynote speaking presentations of those creating it. She is also the founder of PHILX a blog site featuring conversations that touch every aspect of philanthropic giving (www.irisivana.com). Iris is the daughter of Apostle & Mother Ivan (Iris) Grant, Sr., sister of Pastor Ivan Grant, Jr., member of our General Assembly in FL and Director of the NFCOG Praise Team. Two thumbs up, Iris!
Quotable Quotes…God’s Word Said It First
“It seems to me that our greatest need today is an enlarged vision of Jesus Christ. We need to see him as the One in whom alone the fullness of God dwells and in whom alone we can come to fullness of life. . . There is only one way to gain clear, true, fresh, lofty views of Christ, and that is through the Bible. The Bible is the prism by which the light of Jesus Christ is broken into its many and beautiful colors. The Bible is the portrait of Jesus Christ. We need to gaze upon him with such intensity of desire that (by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit) he comes alive to us, meets with us, and fills us with himself.”
John R. W. Scott, Rector Emeritus of All Souls Church, London Understanding The Bible. 1999
“The value of the gospel is not that it gives us ideal life, but that that life is actually lived.”
George Tyrell (1861-1909), Irish Theologian
. . . I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. John 10:10 (KJV)
“All Sacred Scripture is but one book, and that one book is Christ, because all divine Scripture speaks of Christ, and all divine Scripture is fulfilled in Christ.”
Hugh of St. Victor (1096-1141), German Born Monk and Writer
“Words fail to express my love for this holy Book, my gratitude for its author, for His love and goodness. How shall I thank Him for it?”
Lottie Moon (1840-1912), American Missionary to China
“All that I am I owe to Jesus Christ, revealed to me in His divine Book.”
David Livingstone (1813-1873), Scottish Doctor, Missionary and Explorer of Africa
. . . I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:12 (KJV)